KARACHI Water crisis continues

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26 April 2000 Wednesday 20 Muharram 1421

KARACHI: Demos held against water crisis

By Our Staff Reporter

KARACHI, April 25: Water crisis has further deepened in districts East, West and South, causing hardships to the residents of affected localities. Getting perturbed over the persisting water shortage, residents of the water-starved localities have now started staging protest rallies in front of concerned KWSB offices.

In Lyari, an angry crowd came out on streets to protest against water shortage in their locality. Carrying placards and banners, they staged a demonstration near Juna Masjid on Shah Latif Bhittai Road and chanted slogans in support of their demands, urging the governor and the corps commander to help overcome water crisis in their locality.

A large number of women and children from Baloch Para, Mauripur Road, and Ali Mohammad Mohallah also took part in the protest rally, organized by the Baloch-Sindhi Qaumi Rabita Committee.

The demonstrators were carrying pitchers, and later threw them on roads. A police contingent was present there to prevent any untoward incident.

Traffic on a section of Shah Latif Bhittai Road was suspended for some time.

The demonstrators condemned the "water mafia" for diverting water to a nearby locality causing an artificial water shortage in the area.

A spokesman for the Rabita Committee also distributed copies of petitions submitted to the authorities regarding water shortage in Baloch Para, Ali Mohammad Mohallah, Hingorabad, Ahmed Shah Bukhari Road and other parts of new and old Kalri.

The Rabita Committee leaders, including its chairman Majid Baloch, also addressed the demonstrators and warned the authorities to resolve the water crisis within 72 hours, otherwise they would hold more protest rallies. The demonstrators later dispersed peacefully.

The authorities, however, restored normal water supply to the affected areas of Baghdadi on Tuesday afternoon.

Residents of water-starved areas of district West also organized a demonstration in front of KWSB head office, situated near Civic Centre to voice their concern over acute water shortage persisting in their localities for the one month.

The demonstrators, who belonged to Islam Nagar, Gulshan-i-Ghazi, New Saeedabad, Sector 9, 10, 12, Data Nagri and Parsi Colony, in Orangi were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans, such as "Give us water", "Water mafia not acceptable", "You better resign if you cannot supply water".

Meanwhile, water shortage complaints continue to pour in from other parts of the city, including Malir, Khokhrapar, Baghdadi, Defence View bungalows and Mehmoodabad No 5.

Residents of Shah Faisal Colony's Taj Centre told Dawn that although perturbed women of the locality had frequently been visiting the concerned offices of the KWSB to voice their anger over non-availability of water, having about 200 housing units, they are continuously being deprived of water for the past one-and-a-half month.

Residents of Khokhrapar said they have been facing water crisis owing to reduced supply and non-observance of water schedule. The areas worst hit included Khokhrapar Nos 1, 2, 3, 4, Saudia Colony, D-I and D-II and E-I and E-II areas.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 26, 2000

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